The past year had quite an impact on everything and everyone. What was commonplace in 2019 was flipped, clipped and revamped into a New Normal. Wellness routines increased as more consumers spent time at home. Masks went on…and now masks are coming off. Consumers are buying color cosmetics again to celebrate the return to socializing in-person and marketers are creating innovative cosmetic products for the eyes, lips and face to meet their needs but in a different way than before.
Overall color cosmetic sales decreased during the past year, according to data from Information Resources Inc. (IRI) for total US multi-outlet (supermarkets, drugstores, mass market retailers, military commissaries and select club and dollar retail chains) for the 52 weeks ended May 16, 2021 (see chart). But marketers are hopeful for a return to normalcy when it comes to eyes, lips and facial makeup.
Keita Moore is Maybelline New York’s newest US brand ambassador. As a makeup artist, she’s worked with the likes of Iman, Mary J. Blige, Laverne Cox, Nicki Minaj and Mariah Carey. According to Moore, the pandemic allowed people to tap into skin care and live in their natural beauty.
“People are looking for lighter coverage in foundation to enhance and not cover that beautiful skin. Cream blushes and cream eyeshadows are also trending,” he said.
Moore added that the “we woke up like this” look is key right now in makeup.
“I believe a lot of people peeled back the layers of themselves and fell in love with their natural beauty so the ‘no makeup makeup’ standard that came with being off the scene was liberating,” he told Happi.
Priyanka Ganjoo, founder of Kulfi Beauty and a recent graduate of the Sephora Accelerate program, New York, agrees that a softer look in eye, lip and facial cosmetics is trending for Fall 2021.
“Consumers are looking to play into their natural beauty rather than trying to cover it up,” she told Happi. “However, people are still looking to add fun pops of color and accessories as a form of self-expression. Makeup is starting to become fun again with colored eyeliners, eyeshadow and brow products trending.”
Another important aspect of color cosmetics right now is the company’s story. According to Ganjoo, beyond the makeup itself, consumers want to know who is behind the brand and their values.
“Now, more than ever, I believe people are seeking brands that align with their personal values of inclusivity, transparency and sustainability. Consumers look for products that make them genuinely feel good and make them feel good by supporting them,” she said.
Victoria Vohland, director of operations/R&D for RCMA Makeup, Simi Valley CA, noted that photo content and social media are also key players when it comes to color cosmetics today.
“We live in an ‘Insta-gratification’ time,” she told Happi. “Bold, animated eyes, plush, plump lips and the undefined eyebrow look is flooding social media right now. In recent years, consumers desired a bold, ‘extra’ full face of makeup.”
As pandemic-mandated mask requirements ease, demand for lipsticks is expected to soar. Data from Trendalytics supports that prediction.
M•A•C Cosmetics’ Lustreglass Sheer Shine lipstick was revamped for 2021.
Lip cosmetics were the hardest-hit category in the beauty industry last year, but new data suggests it’s headed for a rebound. Trendalytics shows triple-digit search volume growth in several searches around lip cosmetics, which the firm attributes to changing CDC guidelines around mask wear.
Searches for long-wear lipstick grew 1,135% year-over-year. Other big gains in searches include shimmer lip gloss (+889%), plum lipstick (+300%) and plumping lip gloss (+259%), according to Trendalytics.
Consumers are ready to experiment with color again and bold lips are on an upswing. According to market research firm Spate, there have been 3.5K searches for metallic lipstick in the US every month, and interest has grown 96.1% since last year. Clinique, Too Faced, NYX and Huda Beauty are the top brands searched alongside the trend.
According to Spate, nostalgia is in full effect with consumers looking to the 1990s for fashion, hair and makeup inspiration. After a few years of decline in lipstick interest, consumers are ready to experiment with the bold colors and formats of the 90s. Consumers are seeking out metallic lipsticks in liquid and cream formats with matte finishes. Brands that offer bold colors and buildable, long-lasting formats will win with this new experimental, risk-taking, beauty consumer, Spate asserted.
“During the pandemic, we found consumers were focusing on eye and brow makeup—as eyes were the focus of a mask-wearer’s face. Now, we’re seeing a strong shift to lip products being the focus for consumers,” Kristi Hubbard, CEO of Younique, told Happi. “Women are looking for lipsticks, lip glosses, and other lippies that are long-wearing and brightly colored. This has made our two recent launches very relevant.”
Those launches are Younique’s Moodstruck Opulence matte lipstick, which has a formula that uses finely-milled pigments to provide a rich, matte finish, and Lucrative lip gloss, which delivers an intense, non-sticky shine.
Marketers are stepping up to meet illustrious lipstick desires for Fall 2021. For example, 1990s favorite Urban Decay (who can forget hues of Bruise, Oil Slick, Gash and Roach) is revamping its classic Vice Lipstick for Fall 2021. The 35 vegan, high-pigment shades will roll out in three moisturizing finishes: cream, matte and shine. Neutrals and warm nude colors keep it low-key while bright pinks, electric reds and deep purples match any mood, according to the brand. The vegan formula is infused with aloe vera and avocado oil. The new bullet design is said to be inspired by the modern, sculptural architecture and gritty concrete jungle of Downtown Los Angeles.
M·A·C Cosmetics expanded its portfolio with Love Me Liquid Lipcolour—a liquid lipstick with conditioning oils and punchy pigments. The lipcolor also features an innovative 360-degree, custom, flexible arrowhead-shaped applicator that details the lip line and the Cupid’s bow with speed, ease and precision, so flawless deluxe color is matched by the most precise contours. The state-of-the-art, cushiony feel of the weightless formulation is saturated in smoothing and nourishing argan oil, coconut oil, shea butter, carnauba butter, barley extract and cucumber extract with M·A·C’s proprietary TLC Lip Complex, said the company.
This is a liquid lip that “loves lips back” with hydrating, balm-like benefits behind its lush, full-coverage satin finish for lips that have never looked or felt better. Exclusive ColourCling Technology is said to harness the power of an advanced polymer to deliver 12-hour wear. The collection is available in 17 super-saturated shades of rich reds, burnt oranges, luxurious purples and flattering pinks and nudes.
Also for Summer 2021, M·A·C Cosmetics’ iconic Lustreglass Sheer-Shine Lipstick was revamped and expanded into new shade ranges. Taking lipstick to the next level of comfort and care, Lustreglass Sheer-Shine Lipstick was reformulated with a creamy combination of jojoba, raspberry seed, coconut and organic extra-virgin olive oils to nourish lips, while shea butter conditions and hyaluronic acid helps moisturize.
L’Oréal Paris is pushing the limits of plumping with its new Infallible Pro Gloss Plump Lip Gloss, a lightweight formula infused with hyaluronic acid to make lips feel smoother, nourished and comfortable all day long. Long-lasting and non-sticky, Infallible Pro Gloss Plump is available in 12 universal shades.
Drew Barrymore’s Flower Beauty features CBD for Fall. Its new Chill Out Lip Glaze is touted as a comforting lip treatment infused with hemp-derived cannabis sativa oil to nourish and calm dehydrated lips. The plant-based oil complex also protects against feathering. Formulated with coconut oil, the glaze provides skin-replenishing benefits that never feel sticky. The gluten-free lipcolor is available in six shades: Peace Out, Zen, Unwind, Dreamy, Lets Roll and Dazed. Dreamy contains blue pigment to make teeth appear whiter!
The new NYX Professional Makeup Lip Lingerie XXL Matte Liquid Lipstick is said to have 16-hour staying power. The product delivers smooth full-bodied color that molds onto lips like shapewear to provide all-day wear that is extra comfortable, according to the company. Available in 24 color saturated shades from nudes to berries to reds, the Lip Lingerie XXL Matte Liquid Lipstick is 100% vegan. To better help users find the perfect shade of Lip Lingerie XXL Matte Liquid Lipstick, NYX Professional Makeup offers virtual try-on across multiple platforms including its website, Snapchat, Instagram and more.
Fenty Beauty is back for Fall 2021 with a line extension to its popular Gloss Bombs.
The shimmer-free lip luminizer and plumper hybrid delivers a sheer red hint of tint, and a gently titillating and warming sensation that leaves lips looking fuller, according to Fenty. Gloss Bomb Heat contains a blend of ingredients, including ginger root oil and capsicum fruit extract (pepper), designed to deliver an undeniably thick pout. Rich shea butter and vitamin E condition lips and lock in moisture to deliver an intense wet-look shine. The non-sticky formula features Fenty Beauty’s cult-favorite light peach-vanilla scent.
Lady Gaga and Haus Laboratories launched a hybrid lip oil stain. Available in five sheer, sour candy-inspired shades including one universal clear, the lip oils deliver hydration and a kiss of pH-powered color. The oil-to-stain hybrid formula delivers a sheer, supple shine with plant-based components like prickly pear oil before it soaks in “for a true-to-you, rosy tint brought out by your unique pH.”
As makeup sales pick up again, consumers are interested in eyeliners. Beauty fans seem eager to experiment with creative uses for eyeliner, including inner eyeliner styles. According to Spate’s research, on average, there are 5.5K searches for inner eyeliner in the US every month, and interest has grown +77.4% since last year. Brands such as NYX, KVD Beauty and Merle Norman are being searched alongside this trend.
Essence Lash Princess mascara is expanding for Fall 2021.
What does this mean for brands? Continue inspiring consumers with new ways of using eyeliner and rolling out intriguing eye products as a whole in makeup, said Spate.
“As the world is opening back up, I feel like consumers are looking to get expressive with their makeup again! We have seen such a focus on complexion and skin care over the past year so it is exciting to see consumers wearing color on eyes and lips,” James Boehmer, global artistic director, Shiseido Makeup, New York, told Happi. “Makeup is always about creative self-expression and wearing what makes you feel great. I love seeing experimentation with eyes, specifically more bold colors! The graphic eye makeup trend is something we’ve seen for some time and I don’t think it’s going anywhere!”
For Summer 2021, Shiseido added Pop PowderGel Eye Shadow singles featuring hybrid powder-gel technology for silky-smooth texture and application while providing rich color payoff that lasts all day. The singles are available in 18 shades.
Maybelline, another leader in eye cosmetic innovations, is rolling out a few key products this season. HyperEasy No-Slip Pencil features a creamy soft tip for easy strokes. Infused with argan oil, its smooth gel formula, creamy soft 1.5mm micro tip and hexagonal grip delivers precision with ease, said the company. It is available in Black, Deep Brown and Medium Brown shades.
Express Bro Duo 2-in-1 Pencil and Powder is Maybelline’s fastest solution for naturally fuller-looking brows. Featuring a teardrop tip to easily define and shape on one end and a pigmented powder packed sponge to fill without a hassle on the other end, it is available in six shades from Light Blonde to Black Brown.
Meanwhile, Maybelline Colossal Mascara is available in a new innovative formula featuring non-stop wear up to 36 hours. Colossal 36H Mascara is made for impactful lashes that last, delivering instant clump-free and fake-resistant volume. It comes in only one shade right now, Very Black. More mascara news on the way as the industry is getting ready to celebrate Great Lash Mascara’s 50th anniversary (be sure to check Happi.com this month).
Indie beauty brand Lawless Beauty unveiled The One & Done Mascara, a clean makeup that volumizes, defines, lengthens, lifts and wears all day while promoting naturally-thick lash growth, said the company. Key ingredients include lacquer tree and rice bran waxes that keep lashes lifted, while castor and argan oils promote lash length and strength with continued use. The elastomer brush gently grips and combs through lashes for instant volume and elongation, while the spherical shaped tip offers added lash styling and separation, said the company.
Trish McEvoy’s newest addition to her makeup portfolio is Dramatic Lash Mascara, an innovative formula that delivers the drama in length, thickness and separation, infused with conditioning ingredients. The innovative brush grabs each lash from root to tip to lengthen, separate and thicken each individual lash. The formula contains panthenol which conditions lashes and improves luster and sheen as it thickens and moisturizes with every application.
In the mass market, Essence is widely known for its best-selling Lash Princess Mascara, which is the top mascara on Amazon with nearly 150K reviews and a cult-following. At the request of Lash Princess lovers, the brand will soon welcome a long-awaited addition to the mascara lineup—Lash Princess Curl. Created with a curling formula and peanut-shaped fiber brush, Lash Princess Curl lifts, coats and holds lashes for a dramatic wide-open look. This vegan formula is paraben-free, with no micro plastic particles added.
Patrick Ta, a makeup artist with celebrity clientele who recently launched Patrick Ta Beauty, has a new collection called Major Dimension. It includes a 12-color eyeshadow palette and Precision Gel Liner in four colors. The collection is available on Ta’s website and at Sephora.
Ta’s Major Dimension Eyeshadow Palette is designed for layering and experimenting with color. It contains cream and powder colors in warm and cool tones. There are two luminous cream bases, four pearl toppers, four velvet-like mattes, and two iridescent metallics.
Major Dimension Precision Gel Liner comes in four creamy neutral shades—Cream, Rich Brown, Deep Bronze and Black. It provides the glide and coverage of a liquid, but in pencil form, according to the brand.
Consumers can get the ultimate golden-hour glow with this landscape of warm matte, shimmer and metallic shades in Sigma Beauty’s Ambiance Eyeshadow Palette. Inspired by the sun’s peaceful, ever-changing light, Ambiance sets the mood for any occasion with neutral-to-bold hues and a dual-ended brush.
Also novel in the palettes category is Maybelline’s City Mini Palettes Limited Edition Decades Collection. The four-piece range features shades inspired by the 1970s, 1980s, 1990s, and 2000s. Sets include: Rising Star (70s), Electric Noho (80s), Frosted Visionary (90s) and Posh Inspirer (00s). City Minis are available in-store exclusively at Walmart this month.
Last month Happi took a deep dive into the facial cosmetics category. And there are even more launches to look for in stores and online for Fall 2021 and beyond.
Get your glow up with new highlighters from EM Cosmetics.
Saving face this season is Maybelline New York Fit Me Matte + Poreless Primer, a facial cosmetic that blurs pores and mattifies skin with SPF 20 protection. According to the company, the primer controls shine and extends makeup wear for up to 16 hours. Formulated with clay for even, smooth and instantly shine-free skin, the primer is said to be comfortable, lightweight, breathable and suitable for all skin types.
Also new is Maybelline New York Fit Me Tinted Moisturizer, a formulation that provides light, buildable coverage and shine-free hydration for up to 12 hours. The formula is infused with aloe, sesame seed oil, plant extracts and vitamin E to enhance skin. The dermatologist- and allergy-tested makeup is suitable for sensitive skin and is available in 14 hydrating hues.
RCMA Makeup is having its largest cosmetic launch since its debut in 1963! For the first time, consumers can discover what celebrity makeup artists have raved about for years. The launch features 59 SKUs including liquid concealers available in 18 different tones and liquid foundation in 36 shades. Pressed powders and loose powders round out the mix of facial makeup.
Lancôme’s new Teint Idole Ultra Wear All Over Concealer is billed as a hydrating, lightweight full coverage concealer that brightens dark under eyes and covers imperfections without creasing or caking. Infused with skin-loving ingredients, this multi-use concealer provides up to 24 hours of hydration and comfort in a natural matte finish. The ultra-blendable formula and precise tip applicator target dark spots, blemishes and redness without settling into fine lines or creasing. This concealer can be worn on its own or together with Teint Idole Ultra Wear 24H Longwear foundation.
Tata Harper Skincare expanded into makeup with natural cream blushes. Available in seven new vibrant shades, the skin care/makeup hybrid formula is said to instantly melt into the skin to provide a pop of color. With a weightless, satin finish, the cream blush formulas are fortified with a blend of antioxidants and nutrients to promote a smooth and even skin tone. Key ingredients include cacay oil, plum oil, rosehip seed oil, green tea oil, camellia oil, farm beauty complex, jojoba esters and sacha inchi oil.
Indie beauty brand EM Cosmetics created a “skin-empowering highlighter that wears like a beam of moonlight gracing your cheeks,” says the brand. Inspired by Daydream Cushion’s nourishing formula, Moonbeam contains nicacinamide, sacha inchi oil, hyaluronic acid, squalane and vitamin E to help hydrate and refine skin while providing a radiant, illuminating sheen. The ultra-sheer, multi-chromatic cushion highlighter is vegan, gluten-free and cruelty-free, according to EM Cosmetics.
Lime Crime’s new multi-purpose Sunkissed Glimmering Sticks are available in nine shimmering shades that easily glide on cheekbones, brow bones, collarbones, or anywhere on the face or body that might be in need of an extra shimmery glow. The lightweight formula is never sticky and lays down silky-smooth on your skin with hydrating properties for a super dewy payoff. Perfect for all skin types, its buildable formula enables consumers to wear it as a light sheen, or layer for maximum glow. Like all Lime Crime products, the Sunkissed Glimmering Stick is 100% vegan and cruelty-free and Leaping Bunny Certified.
Also for the face, Charlotte Tilbury’s Instant Look of Love in a Palette is available in two universal shades. Each features an easy-to-choose, easy-to-use color by numbers format for a five-minute glow on-the-go. Inside the rose-gold packaging, there are three eyeshadows, along with a bronzer, blush and highlighter. The Diamond Filter Sparkle Texture of these shades are created with biomimetic powders that ensure a smooth, second skin-like application, with lustrous pigments for a star-like, reflective finish. The palette includes Charlotte’s award-winning Airbrush Flawless Finish Powder, enriched with the smoothing, pore blurring and perfecting effects of the Airbrush makeup family for the ultimate soft-focus, airbrush finish.
Natural makeup looks have been the theme of 2021 and Ganjoo of Kulfi Beauty expects the trend to continue. Combining makeup and skin care/hybrid products are also on the forefront in color cosmetics, she added.
“Consumers will demand that their color cosmetics have the same advantages as their skin care. Consumers are educating themselves on product benefits and harmful ingredients, so I believe the lines of skin care and makeup will begin to blur,” Ganjoo told Happi.
Moore of Maybelline New York noted that it’s all about the eyes for 2021 and beyond.
“It seems like liners are taking over and people have been having way more fun than usual by using colors and doing different shapes,” he told Happi. “We’re no longer playing it safe with a traditional black liner look. Don’t be afraid to express yourself.”
Hubbard of Younique is banking on the lip category for later this year.
“We think the lips category will make a big comeback! Now that people are wearing masks less and less, there’s a natural draw to the lips as the focal point of the face,” she told Happi.
Makeup is all about finding the right shade. According to Natallia Bambiza, manager and makeup category analyst, beauty, The NPD Group, the retail lockdown in 2020 meant that in-store testers were unavailable and limited consumers’ ability to try makeup products in-person.
Oh snap! M•A•C Cosmetics fans can now access the brand on Snapchat.
NPD’s latest Makeup Consumer Report shows that shoppers’ preference for stores that allow them to self-test products declined significantly in the past year. As of this spring, only one-third of makeup users indicate that that’s how they prefer to shop for makeup—down from the 41% who responded similarly before the pandemic. Considering how important it is to find the right shade of makeup, the inability to try-before-buy, can have a significant impact on prestige makeup sales.
One way consumers can see how a product would look is trying it on virtually.
“Making consumers aware that there are useful (and fun!) augmented-reality technologies that allow them to virtually try on makeup could help boost category sales,” said Bambiza.
For example, M·A·C Cosmetics is the first brand in The Estée Lauder Companies’ portfolio to launch the shoppable AR technology on its Snapchat profile, which allows consumers to browse product inventory, virtually try-on and purchase beauty products from the Snapchat app.
To start, Snapchatters can choose from four different Lenses to virtually try on 20 different M·A·C Cosmetics’ lip and eye products. If they like what they see, they can buy directly from the Lens. During the next few months, Snapchatters will be able to browse hundreds of products and colors all from M·A·C’s Profile—enabling beauty lovers to play and experiment with new makeup looks without ever applying physical product.
AR shopping continues to accelerate with consumers now shopping from home during the pandemic more than ever before. In a recent study Snap commissioned with Deloitte, 94% of people expect to use AR for shopping the same or more next year.
As an early adopter of AR technology, M·A·C was a natural fit to debut the Snapchat shoppable Lenses for beauty. M·A·C began rolling out virtual try-on mirrors in its stores in 2018 and launched a virtual try-on tool on its website in August 2019. The increased popularity of the tool since the onset of the pandemic accelerated the introduction of products and categories as well as the rollout of the tool on other regional websites around the world.
In celebration of Rouge De Beauté Brillant dual-action lip color, Gucci Beauty launched its first Snapchat Lens dedicated to makeup. The lens uses a digital try-on technology with many engaging features, allowing users to create personalized beauty looks with a selection of makeup tools.
Available via the Gucci Lens page and QR code attached, the experience begins by placing a sleep mask over the user’s eyes, which is a nod to the breakfast in bed concept and the new lipstick’s caring properties. The virtual makeup session then begins with the different products in order of recommended use and allows Snapchatters to trial the various shades and combinations.
Likewise, users can then choose between the classic or bold Mascara L’Obscur look for their eyes. As a last step, it is the star of the show, Rouge De Beauté Brillant, where users can trial all of the lipstick shades to find the perfect one—or ones!
CoverGirl celebrates its 60th anniversary and a sustainability milestone, reducing plastic in its beauty products by 35%. First up for a makeover is the Clean Pressed Powder Collection.
Most recently, CoverGirl launched Lash Blast Clean Mascara, clean, vegan and FCS Certified with packaging made from 80% recycled paper from well-managed forests.
According to Stefano Curti, chief brands officer of Coty, “As CoverGirl celebrates its 60th anniversary, we are building on this heritage and expertise, taking the next step in our journey toward more sustainable and clean beauty. I am delighted that this initiative means eliminating some plastic annually by ensuring our Clean Pressed Powders now have 35% less plastic per compact—a tangible example of Coty’s commitment to more sustainable packaging through our Beauty That Lasts initiative. As a brand, CoverGirl continues to identify areas where we can reduce our environmental impact, continuing to lead the way as the original clean brand which our consumers are proud to stand behind.”
According to the company, brands must make clean beauty accessible and affordable for all. In 2018, CoverGirl became the largest makeup brand to be Leaping Bunny Certified by Cruelty-Free International. In 2020, CoverGirl launched Clean Fresh, the brand’s first clean and vegan line made without sulfates, formaldehyde, phthalates, parabens or talc.
Now, CoverGirl is launching a vegan mascara. Lash Blast Clean Volume Mascara in Waterproof is billed as the first of its kind to the mass market.